A very special double bill with Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singer April Verch and her Trio and Lawrence's own Truckstop Honeymoon.
April Verch, who Sam Bush calls "a world class fiddler," has never sounded more comfortable in her skin than she does now, in the second decade of her career as an internationally touring Canadian fiddler, step dancer and singer-songwriter. She's grown from a prodigy into an enduring artist — one of music’s most unforgiving public transitions — with grace and grit to spare.
The April Verch Band — rounded out by bassist and clawhammer banjo player Cody Walters and guitarist Hayes Griffin, who has a masters degree in jazz improv from the New England Conservatory — is an energetic, virtuosic, tradition-celebrating outfit. It doesn’t hurt that the thrilling grand finale involves Verch fiddling and step dancing — and often executing two entirely different intricate rhythmic patterns — at once.
It’s a wonder to behold Verch pulling off those pristine double-time triplets with her feet, and the myriad other ways she represents an artist in touch with roots and in her element. She won't be the one to mention that by the time she was finishing up her first year of college she had become the first woman to win both the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship and Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition, or even the fact that she represented Canada's fiddling tradition by performing in the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Truckstop Honeymoon play tough, funny, hi-octane songs about interstates, pinball arcades and true love. Katie Euliss pounds a doghouse bass while Mike West punishes a banjo mercilessly. Together they charm festival crowds and drive roadhouse drinkers to the dance-floor. "It's like the family story hour, a tent revival, a night at the speakeasy, a trip to a house of ill repute, and a family picnic all rolled into one." (F5, Wichita, KS).
On August 29 2005, flood waters submerged their home base in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Truckstop Honeymoon were on tour when the storm hit and so on-tour is where they stayed. Mike and Katie played shows every night, lived out of their van and kept their two daughters entertained in convenience stores across America. But eventually, the road weary family parked their rig as far from any large body of water as they could get: Lawrence, Kansas. "It's gritty, grisly and guttural, and makes for damn fine music. - Where Y'at Magazine, New Orleans LA
She has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin by NPR — was born in NYC into an influential musical family (she's the daugher of Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche, the niece of Maggie and Terre Roche and of Sloan Wainwright, and the half-sister of Rufus and Martha Wainwright). She rebelled against the family business by teaching elementary school for several years before getting involved in music. Since 2007, Lucy has released two EPs and a studio album entitled Lucy (2010),
toured the U.S., Canada and Europe, and has performed with a number of musicians including the Indigo Girls,
Neko Case, and Over the Rhine, as well as touring extensively with Rufus Wainwright, Dar Williams, and Girlyman.\Lucy is known for her crystal clear voice and straightforward, funny stage presence.
In early 2009, Lucy's song "Snare Drum" won the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song. In 2008, Lucy was one of the winners of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's "Emerging Artist" competition. Again in 2009, she was one of six winners of the Grassy Hill Kerrville Folk Festival's "New Folk Singer/Songwriter Competition".
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1961, a family move to Nashville at age 3 fully immersed David Grier into the bluegrass music world, and at age 6, he began playing the guitar.
Today, he is regarded as one of the premier acoustic guitarists in the world, along with his early influences, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and family friend Clarence White. Recognized by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2000 as one
of the Artists of the Decade, and named Guitar Player of the Year three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Grier has played on four Grammy Award-winning albums (True Life Blues: A Tribute to Bill Monroe; The Great Dobro Sessions; Alison Brown’s Fairweather; and Amazing Grace 2: A Country Salute to Gospel).
Having released four albums on Rounder, beginning in 1988 with Freewheeling, Grier launched his own label, Dreadnought Recordings, with the 1998 debut release, Hootenanny, with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien (“endlessly inventive and tasteful” - All Music Guide). David is also the guitiarist with the acclaimed band Psychograss. His most recent release, Evocative (Dreadnought 2009), featuring 10 original tunes and a rich complement of collaborators (Victor Wooten, Paul Franklin, Stuart Duncan and more), has been hailed for its “deep musical introspection” as well as its “unmatchable mastery of the guitar” (Martin Mull).
"His knowledge of chord shape and voicings, his effortless sliding from fret to fret, chord to chord and fingering to fingering puts him up there with the finest players I've ever seen." (Victory Review)
"Throughout the show, I kept thinking that I was watching an amazing bluegrass guitar player who had clearly studied - formally or otherwise - the great jazz guitar players and had incorporated them into his style. As the show went on, however, I began to think that maybe I had it backwards. Maybe David Grier is really a jazz guitar player with a passion for bluegrass. Whichever the case may be, David is doing something like few others out there, and it is a sight to be seen, a scene to be a heard, and overall, a guaranteed impressive show every time that he takes the stage. Whether he is playing alone, with Chris Thile, or with his band Psychograss, he is sure to expand the possibilities of what a man can do with an acoustic guitar, and for that alone, it is worth taking notice. " (JamBase)
We are thrilled to welcome back West Side Folk audience favorite Carrie Newcomer, this time, for the first time in Lawrence, with pianist Gary Walters.
Carrie Newcomer's music has always explored the intersection of the spiritual and the daily, the sacred and the ordinary. Over the course of her career she has become a prominent voice for progressive spirituality, social justice and interfaith dialogue. Her ability for sharp observation of the world lead the Dallas Morning News to rave, "She's the kind of artist whose music makes you stop, think and then say, 'that is so true.'" She has been described as "a soaring songstress" by Billboard, a "prairie mystic" by the Boston Globe and Rolling Stone has declared that Newcomer "asks all the right questions." Author Barbara Kingsolver wrote, "She's a poet, storyteller, snake-charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace." Rosanne Cash says" Carrie is a touchstone of authenticity in an image-driven, media-defined musical world. She is a beautiful singer and songwriter, and deeply refreshing" while Mary Chapin Carpenter says "I love Carrie Newcomer. She writes and sings about what is most personal to her and in doing so she speaks to the wider world. . . the song “Geodes” will make you catch your breath with its wisdom and beauty..."
Bestselling author Jim Wallis says "Carrie Newcomer inspires me. She integrates her music and lyrics with her faith and passion for justice. Her music tells stories of the lives and struggles, the hopes and dreams, of immigrants, single mothers and -wage workers. They are stories of real life that teach spiritual truths. And hovering over all the stories "there is a spirit moving" -a spirit of hope and grace, a spirit calling us to "be not afraid." and author Philip Gulley says “I feel the same way every time I hear Carrie sing—amazed, inspired, and envious. Envious that someone can capture in one sentence a feeling that takes me a book to describe. "
Pianist Gary Walters is an in demand pianist who, though best known as a jazz pianist, has extensive experience working in symphonic settings, musical theater, and as touring pianist for such soul legends as Martha Reeves, the Marvelettes, and the Crystals, and has recorded and toured extensively with Carrie Newcomer in recent years. This will be his first appearance with her in Lawrence.
An acoustic slide guitar bluesman who also happens to be a banjo wizard and songwriter with an emotionally riveting voice, Tony Furtado brings his gregarious personality and vast musical skills to Lawrence, as the leader of the Tony Furtado Duo. At age 19, he won the first of two National Banjo Championships at Winfield, and from there went on to record 6 acclaimed albums for Rounder Records. Starting in the mid 90's, he has become known as an outstanding slide guitar and blues player and singer, as well as writing his own distincitve songs. "Furtado's extremely impressive, furious slide guitar skills and 25 plus years of banjo experience will blow away the musicos; for the lovers of a story in a song, Furtado has a few tales to tell; and to those who are looking for a performance, get ready to be captivated, charmed and entertained." (Banjomusic.com).
"He mixes bluegrass roots with a mainstream pop streak, easily holding the spotlight, thanks to his restrained virtuosity on acoustic and slide guitar and a warmly engaging voice reminiscent of T Bone Burnett, sans preachiness" ( PASTE Magazine) "As a banjo virtuoso, Furtado is well-known for his envelope-pushing, progressive bluegrass stylings. His picking is rapid-fire quick, sharp and clear, and puts him in the school of Béla Fleck and David Grisman." (Telluride Daily Planet)
We are awaiting word on who Tony will have with him in the duo, but it's most likely to be two time national fiddle champion Luke Price, another multi talented instrumentalist and singer. Price, a Berklee College of Music grad, is adept at not just traditional fiddle music, but jazz, soul, blues,funk, bluegrass, and pop.
West Side Folk works because of its volunteers and supporters.
Find out how you can help here.
Support West Side Folk and advertise your support of folk music in general
with a T-shirt, cap, mug, or other item emblazoned with one of our logos.
Available in a range of styles, colors, sizes at
Unity Church (wheelchair accessible)
9th & Madeline (3/8 mile west of Iowa Street on 9th St).
The Pavilion at Lied Center (wheelchair accessible) 1600 Stewart Drive (on KU's West Campus). Directions
Season Tickets save money & give you reserved seats front and center at
each concert! (All other seating is general admission only).
Get all five Fall concerts for just $93 (a fifteen dollar savings).
Individual and season tickets are available via mail order or (with credit card) online. Individual tickets are also available at Mass Street Music in Lawrence.
Send mail orders, with checks made out to West Side Folk, to:
West Side Folk, c/o Bob McWilliams, 3026 Longhorn Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.
Please include an email address and/or phone number so we confirm receipt of your mail
order. Mail order tickets will be held at door, unless you include a SASE.
Credit card orders: Tickets purchased online via credit card will require
presentation of photo ID and the original credit card, or government-issued photo ID
at the door.